Peale Family (Peale Family) American
Peale Family Portrait (ca. 1840s)
An American dynasty: the Peale family of painters
No family was more influential in early American art than the storied Peale family of artists. Headed by Charles Willson Peale, the family was instrumental in establishing a tradition of distinctly American painting that encompassed portraiture, landscapes and still lifes.
A Renaissance man who studied under John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West, Charles Willson Peale was best known for his portraits of Revolutionary War heroes and the development of one of the nation’s first museums. He also founded two art academies and was a passionate educator — a practice he shared with his extended family, which included his 17 children. From this forerunner grew an artistic dynasty that established the Peales as some of the premier artists working in the nation’s early years.
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